A state audit is raising questions about treating 17-year-old crime suspects as adults. Wisconsin is one 13 states that requires those offenders to be tried in adult court for offenses. The law has been on the books since 1996.
State auditor Kate Wade says that over a five year period, only about 600 of those offenders were sent to prison, while 10,000 were placed on probation. Wade says a state audit shows less than half successfully completed the terms of their probation. The audit looked at both violent and non-violent offenses committed by teens.
The results have some lawmakers expressing concerns about whether punishments need to be tougher for young offenders.